John D. Currier


COOPERSTOWN John Duane Currier was born Sept. 6, 1934, in Ilion, N.Y., and died on Jan. 14, 2003, following a long struggle with emphysema.


The son of Winston Maxime Currier and Hazel Violet Steele, John attended West Hill elementary school and Ilion high school where he was noted for his creative, scientific mind and aptitude for mechanics. Chemistry and physics were John's favorite school subjects.


As a boy, John enjoyed Scouting and worked his way through Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts to the Eagle rank. John was always busy with projects. At the age of eight he built his own racing car. His sisters treasured a dollhouse that he made for them, complete with furniture and electric lights. John constructed his own radio set and ran a radio repair shop for friends.


Later, an interest in photography consumed his time and he spent many happy hours in his own darkroom. Also musically inclined, John played trombone in the school band and orchestra and sang in high school and college choirs.


John entered Utica College where he majored in English. After two years he enlisted in the United States Army and served in Germany and France. Upon his return from Europe, John resumed his English studies at Utica College and graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1959.


For more than a decade, John taught secondary English in Mohawk Valley schools before taking up work as an automobile mechanic. In 1990, John joined the Otsego County Chemical Dependencies Clinic, serving as addictions counselor in the Otsego County jail until 1998.


In 1980, John married Elizabeth Reed Baum. The couple, along with Betty's younger children, David and Joanna, resided in West Winfield. In 1998, John and Betty moved to Cooperstown.


Betty Currier, his wife of 22 years, survives. Surviving also is Ann Currier, his daughter from a previous marriage, and Betty's children, Trish Galfano and Rob, David and Joanna Baum. Jeannette Armstrong of Springfield, a sister, also survives along with many nieces and nephews. His sister Judith Morrison predeceased him in 2001.


John, his family, and others who knew him are grateful for the gift of 33 years of sobriety that he received from Alcoholics Anonymous. In the process of working his program, he touched many more lives than he knew. Always patient and honest, John had courage and respect for those with whom he was engaged in honest conflict over ideas and principles to which he felt committed. John Currier was a caring friend, a sponsor, mentor, companion and advocate. But whatever part he played, John was always a gentleman.


A memorial service to celebrate the life of John Currier will be held at Christ Episcopal Church on River Street in Cooperstown on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 11 a.m. A reception will follow.


In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to send contributions to the LEAF Council on Alcoholism and Addictions, Inc., 13 Commons Drive, Cooperstown, NY 13326.



The Daily Star

Oneonta, New York

Wednesday, January 15, 2003